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Bebop Spoken There

Steve Fishwick: “I can’t get behind the attitude that new is always somehow better than old”. (Jazz Journal, April 15, 2019).

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Simon Spillett: A lovely review from the dean of jazz bloggers, Lance Liddle...

Josh Weir: I love the writing on bebop spoken here... I think the work you are doing is amazing.


16527 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 407 of them this year alone and, so far, 29 this month (June 12).

From This Moment On ...


Sun 16: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 1:00-2:45pm. Free.
Sun 16: Paul Skerritt @ Hibou Blanc, Newcastle. 2:00pm.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ Queen’s Hall, Hexham. 3:00pm. £10.00.
Sun 16: 4B @ The Ticket Office, Whitley Bay. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 16: Gaz Hughes Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 16: Jazz Jam @ Fabio’s Bar, Saddler St., Durham. 8:00pm. Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Mon 17: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 17: ‘Tower of Power’ @ The Library Bar, Saddler St., Durham . 7:30pm.Free. A Durham University Jazz Society event. All welcome.

Tue 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Victoria & Albert Inn, Seaton Delaval. 12:30pm. £13.00. ‘Jazz, Sausage ‘n’ Mash’…’with Onion Gravy’!
Tue 18: Jam Session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Stu Collingwood, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston.
Tue 18: Libby Goodridge & Ben Davies @ The Lost Wanderer, Leazes Park Road, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £6.00. Triple bill, inc. Goodridge & Davies (jazz).

Wed 19: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 19: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 19: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.

Thu 20: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 20 Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle. 2:00pm. £4.00. Note new venue!
Thu 20: Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan @ The Fire Station, Sunderland. 7:30pm. £29.00., £23.00. Folk/jazz duo.
Thu 20: Richard Herdman & Ray Burns @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Thu 20: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Josh Bentham (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Dave Archbold (keys); Dave Harrison (trumpet); Ron Smith (bass).

Fri 21: Alan Barnes with Dean Stockdale Trio @ The Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 21: Joe Steels’ Borealis @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 21: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 21: Soznak @ The Bike Garden, Nunsmoor, Newcastle NE4 5NU. 5:00-9:00pm. Free.
Fri 21: Errol Linton + Michael Littlefield & Scott Taylor (King Bees) @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 7:30pm. £20.00. Blues double bill.
Fri 21: Alan Barnes with the Dean Stockdale Trio @ Seventeen Nineteen, Sunderland. 7:30pm.
Fri 21: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band @ Alnwick Playhouse. 8:00pm. ‘Ella & Ellington’.
Fri 21: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller’s Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. Opus 4 Jazz Club.

Sat 22: Jason Isaacs @ Stack, Seaburn SR6 8AA. 12:30-2:30pm. Free.
Sat 22: Abbie Finn Trio @ The Vault, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free.
Sat 22: Hejira: Celebrating Joni Mitchell @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 7:30pm (doors). £22.50.
Sat 22: Rockin’ Turner Bros. @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Jazz at the Lit & Phil: The Windy City Weatherbirds - May 19

(© Lance)
Magnus Pickering (long model cornet, vocals); Joe Pickering (reeds); Daniel Pickering (trombone); Harrison Dolphin (guitar); Paul Grainger (bass); Robbie Ellison (drums)

It was like being at Newcastle's legendary New Orleans' Club back in the day. All that was missing was the smoke, the drunks and the mic. This latter item would have been handy to have. Otherwise, we could have been listening to those jazzmen who sailed under the flag of Panama or those of the River City Jazzmen. Both bands executed (in more ways than one) a brand of Dixieland cum Chicago that set the benchmark for this style in Newcastle.

(© Patti D)
Up from London, the Windy City Weatherbirds, fronted by the brothers Pickering (reminds me of the Christie Brothers Stompers), delved deep into the Chicago/Dixieland songbook soloing with retrospective authenticity.

I referred earlier to the lack of a mic. This was a two-edged sword. Certainly it would have enhanced Magnus' vocals had he been given that extra sonority so essential when singing these days. In fairness he did okay no doubt helped by the house acoustics plus, had he had a mic it would have amplified a couple of faux pas he made in his announcements.

Bob Crosby didn't play clarinet and, At the Jazz Band Ball although recorded by Muggsy Spanier's Ragtimers wasn't an actual rag and they weren't a big band either.

Still, that's just me nitpicking which is something I couldn't do regarding the music which was superb.

All the three front line siblings (silently) boast of their achievements over several different genres and they have the technique to handle them.

Unusually, for a Dixie outfit, drummer Ellison used predominantly brushes and it was no worse for that.

The beautifully named Harrison Dolphin played acoustic guitar amped up by the only mic (am I reading more into this than I should?)

Stepping in at the eleventh hour was local 'boy' Paul Grainger on bass. Paul is rapidly evolving on the local scene as both bass player and gig organiser - indeed he is involved with tonight's gig by the band at The Vault in Hexham.

This was different from the usual bill of fayre at the Lit and Phil but that is the strength of these monthly gigs - quality and diversity is what Russell delivers.

One of the many comments I heard as I was leaving: 'Wasn't it great to hear young musicians playing jazz like this?' 

She was right! Lance

South Rampart Street Parade; I Wish I Could Shimmy Like my Sister Kate; If I Had You; At the Jazz Band Ball; Fools Rush in; I'm Crazy 'Bout my Baby; Lazy River; Riverboat Shuffle; Ain't Misbehavin'; Sweet Sue - Just You; 'S Wonderful; That's A-Plenty; Big Butter and Egg Man.

1 comment :

NeilC said...

I enjoyed the gig . I,like you Lance, thought putting songs with vocals in without a mic was a huge risk that didn't really pay off . The musicianship was excellent but I felt for Magnus who appeared quite nervous. The addition of having to perform vocals without a microphone to playing the cornet proved a huge challenge. Having failed to play a clarinet at school I am in awe of anyone who can play it and I thought Joe was outstanding . A really enjoyable hour in a very convivial venue.

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